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Reference Library: Beatlefest Bootleg Bust

From: bradchevy@aol.com (Bradchevy)
Newsgroups: rec.music.beatles
Subject: Billboard Article On "Beatlefest Bust"
Date: 12 Dec 1998 19:31:18 GMT

Here, according to the December 12 issue of Billboard, are the details of the Beatlefest bust:

LAPD Arrests Alleged Bootlegger
By Bill Holland

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Convicted bootlegger Gary Bright of Sonora, Calif., was arrested by officers from the Los Angelesd Police Department (LAPD) Nov. 27 on bootlegging charges durint the Beatlefest record show, which was held Nov. 27-29 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America (RIAA).

Police, with the assistance from the RIAA, found and confiscated a total of 1,135 alleged bootleg vinyl records, videos and CDs in Bright's hotel room and at a nearby booth: 524 alleged concert music videos, 385 alleged bootleg CDs, and 226 alleged bootleg LPs. Officials say the majority of the confiscated items were Beatles-related material.

"We've known about this guy for quite a few years," says Fran Creighton, senior VP/director of anti-piracy investigations for the RIAA. "He was first arrested in 1990 on the same charges, and he was convicted. He runs his own bootleg label, the works."

Creighton says that the LAPD "was very creative" in the bust, because Bright was allegedly selling the material "from his hotel room rather than at the Beatlefest dealer setup room and had associates spreading the work that 'the good stuff' was upstairs."

He adds that interested parties, who included the police, had to gain access to a "code word" that would allow them entrance into Bright's room.

Creighton says authorities had mailed a cease-and-desist letter to Bright's former residence this summer, but he had apparently moved. "We knew he'd surface again," Creighton says.

Bright was charged with violating California's "true name and address" statute; he was released after posting a $25,000 bond. The investigation is ongoing. "He was thumbing his nose at us, at the Beatles, and at their fans,' Creighton says. "It was time to address the situation."

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